Befikre Paris: Memories of a City of Love

Befikre Paris: Memories of a City of Love

Sujoy Dhar
I was amused when I read the Consul General of France in Kolkata terming Bollywood flick Befikre as the best postcard on Paris. I could not agree more. I think few films captured the city and its spirit so nicely within the commercial enclosure of a Bollywood entertainer like this one.

Cinegoers in India though would never forget the Shammi Kapoor-Sharmila starrer, An Evening in Paris.

Set in Paris Befikre is the simplified, cliched but extremely well-made lust-to-love story of a horndog desi played by none other than Ranveer Singh (I agree such characters are now done to death), paired opposite the leggie Vaani Kapoor, a superb dancer who brought freshness indeed. The film has been blasted by the critics, but Befikre revives memories of a Paris romantic forever.

The Bollywood style free spirited Dharam and Shyra go about slapping cops (and never ending up behind bars) and spoiling cabaret shows for fun. But if despite that this nonsensical film is making money and entertaining Bollywood-infected souls like me, it is Paris at its best.

Paris is irresistible and be it the crassly commercial Bollywood or the intelligent films of Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), nothing can go wrong with the city at least.

And Paris is about celebration of love. Befikre begins with a collage of kissing scenes and dwells on the carefree, no-holds-barred and completely uninhibited "lust" story of Ranveer-Vaani. So much so that many an Indian forever living in the veil of societal taboos will actually get angry with their amorous antics that they never dared to do in open space.

As I watched the movie, I was transported back to Paris soaked in similar scenes in every nook, corner, metro station and open space in the city. I had taken many images of couples celebrating love, never daring to share them in public forums. But then Paris is Paris and so this blog is dedicated to that spirit of Paris where once you land, you are arrowed down by Cupid.

Many European cities can claim the same moniker, but Paris somehow is blessed almost by the god of love with an ambiance where love ( you may call it lust as well) blossoms. A walk by the River Seine or a moment atop the Eiffel Tower, or just a cafe in the Latin Quarter of historic Paris, choose any place to kiss and love.

Or perhaps the location so much used by Befikre- the world's original public space kissing point that is Pont des Arts (a pedestrian bridge in Paris which crosses the River Seine) in Paris, from where the government finally removed the countless locks or symbols of love that were weighing down the bridge.

Paris is all about celebration of life.

 

Befikre Paris: Memories of a City of Love

Sujoy Dhar
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